Film Center brings the goods

The Northwest Film Center is in the middle of another busy season. The film center, aside from having a nationally recognized film school, is perhaps best known for bringing some of the best rare and foreign films to Portland. Here is a quick rundown of highlights of this fall’s busy season.

The majority of the films play at the Guild Theatre, Southwest 9th and Alder, and the Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 S.W. Park Ave.

This Friday at the Guild the center presents “The Charles Bukowski Tapes,” French director Barbet Schroeder’s portrait of the infamous skid row poet. This montage of four-minute Bukowski monologues looks to be a fascinating and disturbing look at the darker side of American letters.

Also this weekend, the center continues its screening of films by legendary Italian filmmaker Ermanno Olmi. Olmi’s works explore common people’s relation to the disjointed world in which they live. Tonight’s film at the Whitsell is “The Scavengers,” a meditation on one veteran’s attempt to find a place for himself after returning to the country for which he fought. Tomorrow night’s Whitsell feature is “The Legend of the Holy Drinker,” a tale of one down-and-outers spiritual redemption. Saturday and Sunday’s Olmi film is “The Tree of Wooden Clogs,” which won Palm d’Or, among other awards, at 1978’s Cannes Film Festival. The Olmi festival runs through Oct. 13.

Given our recent national tragedy, two October films seem especially timely. On Oct. 19 the Guild will show “The Mad Songs of Fernanda Hussein.” This film explores one American community’s struggles in the wake of the Gulf War. On Oct. 25, “Promises” is a series of interviews with children of Jerusalem, both Israeli and Palestinian, and promises to be deeply affecting.

Space does not allow for a full rundown of the Film Center’s events. A very special event will be a visit by Philip Glass during the week of Oct. 15-19. Also recommended are screenings of Chaplin’s “City Light’s,” Akira Kurosawa’s “Throne of Blood,” and Godard’s groundbreaking “Breathless” and his challenging and brilliant “Weekend.”Your options are not bound by Hollywood, Pepsi or Britney Spears. Pick up a Film Center brochure anywhere around town and go see some art.